Managing The Medicine Cabinet In Your Household - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Managing The Medicine Cabinet In Your Household

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According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 1.5 million Americans are injured by medication errors every year. News 8 talks to America's Safety Mom about how to avoid medication mistakes.

In every busy household there are bills, chores and countless to-do lists. That's why safety experts say take a moment to make sure someone is managing the medicine cabinet.

If your cabinet is cluttered with multiple medications and you've got a big family like Alison Rhodes, it's time to get organized.

"What I say is get those bright colored stickers from an Office Depot or a Staples and assign each child a different color, so at least you know which drug is for which child," Alison Rhodes said.

Known as the "Safety Mom", Alison travels the country telling mothers how to protect their children.

"I'm not a big technology person you know, I know enough to be dangerous," she said.

Logging on to Drugs.com, Alison uses this website to keep track of her family's medications, and even receive FDA alerts.

"Just this morning my son and I got an alert on Drugs.com that with my son's medication he shouldn't be taking it with cola or caffeine, he should only take it with milk or orange juice. I was never told that, I never would have known," she said.

Alison says Drugs.com is a strong resource that reminds parents to have their kids finish a full cycle of antibiotics, not to ignore expiration dates, as well as the danger of sharing medications.

"You don't want to, even if the symptoms sound the same. You really want to check with your family practitioner," she said.

Alison says parents need to become their children's health advocate, and by doing their homework, informed parents are then able to discuss possible alternatives with pediatricians.

"They may be on one medication but you may come in and because you've looked at Drugs.com and say 'Hey I know about this other medication, talk to me about this,'" Alison said.

If you sense an urgency from Alison regarding child safety, it's because she experienced the tragedy of losing her first child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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